BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir celebrates Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto

A glittering array of twinkles filled the night as traditional candles were lit by devotees during the Diwali and Hindu New Year (Vikram Samvat 2075) Celebrations on Thursday November 8, 2018, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, located at 61 Claireville Drive, Toronto.

The ancient tradition of lighting candles, or diva, during Diwali symbolizes the transition from darkness to light. While the diva lit on Diwali remove physical darkness, the festival’s rich traditions and rituals go deeper – inviting individuals to make efforts in removing darkness from within, in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment.  Diwali presents a time to reflect and introspect.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto marked the auspicious festival of Diwali and its associated five days of celebrations with an elaborate Annakut, lighted diva, fireworks, and a special children’s Diwali celebration. The celebrations were open to all. Visitors participated in celebration activities, offered prayers for new beginnings and had the opportunity to taste in the delicious offerings of the Annakut. Several dignitaries also participated in the celebrations.

Addressing the gathering, The Honourable Doug Ford Premier of Ontario said, “said, “Happy Diwali, Happy New Year to everyone. Each and everyone of you make me feel right at home when I come here. I wish everyone in Ontario could see this [the Annakut], it’s absolutely unbelievable. I understand it’s all about ‘Unity’ and what at great message…I just wanted to emphasize, you have treated our family incredibly well here…we are forever grateful to you. The contribution of your community to the province is absolutely incredible.” Continue reading “BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir celebrates Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto”

Glittering Lights, Live Music, Skating & Winter Fireworks November 24, 2018

Cavalcade of Lights to kick off Toronto’s holiday season November 24 at Nathan Phillips Square

On Saturday, November 24 at 6 p.m., Cavalcade of Lights, presented by Great Gulf, will mark the official start of the holiday season in Toronto. This holiday tradition features the first illumination of Toronto’s Official 60- foot (18 metre) Christmas Tree, spectacular fireworks, a skating party, circus act and performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent.

“Cavalcade of Lights is a 52-year Toronto tradition that brings families together to celebrate the start of the holiday season,” said Mayor John Tory. “This spectacular event includes a great lineup of performances, dazzling fireworks and the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree. I invite everyone to come and join the festivities.”

“Great Gulf is absolutely delighted to return as the presenting sponsor of this incredible Toronto tradition,” said Madeline Zito, Vice President of Public Relations, Great Gulf. “The 52nd annual Cavalcade of Lights provides a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation of the communities we serve and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season with a celebration of goodwill.”

This holiday tradition illuminates Nathan Phillips Square under the twinkle of more than 525,000 energy-efficient lights and 500 ornaments provided by Toronto Hydro. Continue reading “Glittering Lights, Live Music, Skating & Winter Fireworks November 24, 2018”

Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment

— Nita Balani

A brand new museum opened in Toronto which is fast becoming the talk of the town!. The Museum of Illusions has opened its doors to the public this week on November 7th 2018 and will stay permanently in its new home at Front Street East, Toronto. The hugely popular museum has attained world wide acclaim and has opened in 14 cities across the globe including Berlin, Athens, Dubai, New York and Kuala Lumpur. Toronto is the first Canadian city on the map.

The museum appeals to all ages as it takes you through interactive, tactile rooms and displays which play on your mind and eyes. The illusions and installations all “tease the senses while bringing out a playfulness in guests of all ages” explains Michaela Radman, owner and curator of the Museum. The entire experience takes about an hour and a half or so and guests can take photographs and videos to post and share with friends over social media. The display has mind boggling images, rooms, optical illusions and plays tricks on your “mind’s eye”. The 80 plus exhibits take you through multiple visual deceptions which are all based on science, maths, and psychology.

The tilted room (not for the faint of heart) is truly amazing as you struggle to keep your balance even as your mind tries to figure out what is going on. There are also reverse rooms (where everything is upside down), asymmetrical rooms and vortex tunnels to walk through which are fun to experience.

The optical illusions chair really is a thrill. The person sitting on the chair, when photographed relative to someone else standing next to it, shows us how perception relative to size works in our minds and eyes. Continue reading “Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment”

Diwali Greetings – May the Festival of lights brings Illumination, Peace and Prosperity

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has sent his greetings to fellow citizens on the eve of Deepawali.

In his message, the President has said, “On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to all my fellow citizens in India and around the world.

This festival is an opportunity to foster fraternity and unity among all citizens. Deepawali guides us from darkness towards light. On this occasion let us spread and share our happiness with those who are less fortunate than us.

I also urge all citizens to commit themselves to celebrating a pollution-free and safe Deepawali”.

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people of our country on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali. In a message, he said that Deepawali signifies the victory of Good over Evil and reaffirms our faith in the noble qualities that Lord Rama embodied. May this festival bring illumination, peace, prosperity and happiness in our lives, he added.

“I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to the people of our country on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, the festival of lights.

Celebrated with traditional fervor and zeal, Deepawali signifies the victory of Good over Evil and reaffirms our faith in the noble qualities that Lord Rama embodied. Also associated with Goddess Lakshmi – the harbinger of wealth, grace and prosperity – Deepawali is celebrated on a grand scale not only in India but all over the world by the people of Indian origin.    Continue reading “Diwali Greetings – May the Festival of lights brings Illumination, Peace and Prosperity”

ANOKHI MEDIA Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

— Final Attendance To Include Monika Deol & Shama Hyder
ANOKHI MEDIA, North America’s leading South Asian entertainment & lifestyle media and events company is very pleased to announce the third group of personalities that will be attending the 15th anniversary event on November 3rd, 2018 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, a milestone being marked by the EMPOWER ME Campaign in support of the not-for-profit organization, Free-Them. Full details can be seen at the event’s official website: www.AnokhiAwards.com.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
 
In commemoration of ANOKHI MEDIA’s 15 year milestone, the company is thrilled to announce the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for the very first time in its history. “The recipient is a decorated Canadian figure who has exemplified true global leadership as well as shown by example, how to honour one’s Country and one’s culture at the highest levels, while continuing to serve with humility“, said ANOKHI MEDIA’s CEO, Raj Girn.
The Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence will be presented with ‘The ANOKHI POWER Award 2018’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Presented For Global Empowerment In The Advancement Of Leadership’. The award is brought to you by Canada’s most awarded air cargo airline, Cargojet.
Minister Sajjan will be providing a video acceptance speech and opening the Summit during the day with a few words of encouragement around the “ANOKHI EMPOWER ME” campaign. Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East, will be receiving the award on stage on behalf of the Minister.  Continue reading “ANOKHI MEDIA Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient”

Pumpkin parades will light up Toronto parks on November 1

This Thursday, more than 50 parks across Toronto will emit an orange glow as local residents bid a final farewell to their jack-o’-lanterns with community pumpkin parades.

The first pumpkin parade was organized in Sorauren Park in 2004. Since then, this made-in-Toronto tradition has spread to parks across the city and inspired other cities such as Montreal and New York to start their own. This year’s event includes four more parades than last year and can be found in parks from Guildwood Village Park in Scarborough to Centennial Park in Etobicoke.

“Pumpkin parades are great opportunities for communities to come together,” said Mayor John Tory. “I am proud that the number of parades continues to expand each year so that even more people will be able to take part in the post-Halloween fun.”

The pumpkin parades are organized by community organizations as well as by local businesses and Business Improvement Areas. City park permits and disposal bins are provided to the organizers for free, making it easy to host and cleanup the pumpkins after the event. The pumpkins will be picked up by the City after the parades and processed with yard waste to create compost that can be used in City parks and gardens. The City has partnered with Park People to provide posters and social media templates to assist community organizations with their event promotions.

“I’m happy to see our parks animated with pumpkin parades each year,” said Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Toronto’s parks are our common grounds, and this made-in-Toronto tradition is a wonderful way for residents and visitors to connect with each other.” Continue reading “Pumpkin parades will light up Toronto parks on November 1”

CANADIAN LEADERS GATHER ON A SINGLE PLATFORM TO SHARE SECRETS OF SUCCESS

A unique series narrating the trials, tribulations and successes of South Asian leaders on ATN-SONY

Canadian leaders congregated on a single platform in Mississauga to launch the upcoming Television Series about their journeys and success stories on ATN SONY Television. The event, that took place at the Holiday Inn, on
October 15, had an impressive turnout where each leader narrated the key ingredients for achievement, triumph and success. From optimism to hard work, confidence to integrity, each leader had something significant to say.

“Whatever we have achieved it is important to share that with the next generation. There is no definite formula for success. However there are several key factors including hard work, putting in that extra degree of effort, surrounding yourself with the right people and sacrifices made along the way,” said Steve Gupta, President & CEO,
Easton’s Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group, who is being profiled in the upcoming
series.

As a risk taker, Pavi Binning began his career in the UK, only to move to Canada and began the arduous journey of making his mark here. “I believe it’s the strong foundation of good governance principals, integrity and respect for
individuals that forms a very important base in an organization,” says Binning, President of Wittington Investments, holding company of Weston Group that owns Loblaws, Shoppers Drugmart, No Frills, PC Financials and Holt Renfrew. “Family values and the importance of talent management have helped to develop and grow employees.” Continue reading “CANADIAN LEADERS GATHER ON A SINGLE PLATFORM TO SHARE SECRETS OF SUCCESS”

A Musical Celebration of Lights & Life

The Indo-American Arts Council announces the Music of Lights and Life Concert on November 3 2018 7:30PM at the magnificent Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Symphony Space. Maestro Amjad Ali Khan will be joined by Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash on the Sarod. Accompanying them will be Amit Kavthekar and Anubrata Chatterjee on the Tabla.

Maestro Amjad Ali Khan needs no introduction with NYTimes calling him “The most charismatic performer of Indian Ragas….”  and The Guardian declaring him to be “the finest living exponent of the sarod” . He is India’s most celebrated classical musician and an undisputed master of the Sarod, a stringed instrument used in classical Indian music. He is the seventh generation of musicians playing the same instrument, being heir to a long and distinguished musical lineage. He gave his first performance at age six and has since performed his own compositions with the finest orchestras and ensembles in venues around the world, including an acclaimed performance at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.  The Grammy-nominated musician has won many prestigious awards including the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum, UNICEF’s National Ambassadorship, and India’s prestigious awards, the Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Academi award for music.

Based on his belief that music transcends all, he has broadened the appeal of Indian music and its spirit throughout the world, transcending race, region and generation. In the current political climate, there is even more reason to find commonality and feel inclusive. Continue reading “A Musical Celebration of Lights & Life”

Safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis!

With the legalization of recreational cannabis as of today, October 17, 2018, the City of Brampton is asking residents to put safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis.

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services data shows that 31 per cent of fatal fires in the home over the past five years were caused by improperly discarded smoking material. Smoking of cannabis will be regulated the same as tobacco, and cannabis users need to be responsible for safe use to protect themselves, their families, minors, pets, and property.

Fire safety
Cannabis users are advised not to cook while under the influence. Residents are also reminded not to grow beyond the legal limit of four cannabis plants per household, and not to make any modification to their electrical system or use high heat lamps as they pose a serious fire risk.

Where cannabis is prohibited  
Smoking of cannabis is prohibited in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited, e.g. enclosed public places/workplaces, within 20 metres of children’s playgrounds and play areas within parks, public sporting areas (e.g., splash pads, soccer fields) and in all bars and restaurant patios.

Who to contact
The City of Brampton along with Region of Peel will look into complaints about smoking on City property such municipal buildings, recreation centres, transit shelters, and in proximity to children’s play areas, including within parks. Continue reading “Safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis!”

Hindu temple with capacity of 7,800 people opens in Massachusetts

A magnificent two-story Hindu temple reportedly covering 40,000 square feet on a 28-acres plot, which claims to accommodate 7,800 devotees, is opening in Groton (Massachusetts) with 12-days of ceremonies ending on October 20.

New England Shirdi Sai Temple is designed in traditional style following Vastu Shastra and whose main worship hall can hold 500 congregants, will reportedly cater to about 5,000 families of the area. Ground floor of this temple, whose groundbreaking was held in 2015 and which contains three golden spires, will be used for community activities/functions. There are plans of fountain pools in the landscaping.

Temple Grand Inauguration and Pran Pratishta Mahotsav festivities; besides ancient Hindu rituals and food; are also reportedly showcasing traditional music, dance and culture. Ceremonies include kumbhabhishekam, cow worship, various poojas and aartis, 1008 kalasha-stapana, homam, archana, poornahuthi, shanti kalyanam, Mata Ka Jagaran, etc.; ending with Shej Aarti starting 10:00 pm on October 20.

It is operated by non-profit New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar formed in 2006; whose vision includes “spread the message of love, kindness, unity and make a meaningful contribution to the welfare of the mankind” and beliefs include “Faith and Patience”.

Temple opens daily at 08:30 am and besides regular worship services, also celebrates various Hindu festivals, holds yoga and pranayama classes and kids’ chess, organizes bhajans and free medical/dental checkups, etc. Continue reading “Hindu temple with capacity of 7,800 people opens in Massachusetts”